Decision to try luck in Aussie pays dividends
Advice from an Australian contact is paying off for motorbike racing brothers Harrick and Kagan Simons, of Waipahi.
Sydneysiders Greg Epis and son Lachlan met the Simons and their father Grant at two rounds of the nationals at Taupo and Manfeild (Palmerston North) in March. Greg Epis suggested to the brothers to consider competing in Australia.
The Simons, both students at St Peter's College in Gore, liked the idea and entered an under-19 event run by the Motorcycle Road Race Development Association at Phillip Island racetrack, near Melbourne, this month.
Harrick, competing in the 300cc class, gained three second placings and Kagan recorded a win, a third and a fourth in the 250cc section.
Their mother, Rachel, said her sons improved with every race at Phillip Island. "They hopped on bikes they hadn't ridden before, were on a track they hadn't been on before and just got better and better [at the event]," Rachel Simons said.
Before racing at Phillip Island, the brothers were each insured for NZ$550 and the leased bikes they rode cost each of them A$800 (NZ$862).
They will have the same costs when competing in the second round of the Australian Superbike Championship at Phillip Island on July 19 and 20.
Good results there would enhances their chances of racing in two championships at Sydney's Eastern Creek International Speedway in November.
Harrick, 17, and Kagan, 15, are members of the Canterbury and Southland Motorcycle Clubs. In April, Harrick was third in the King of Ruapuna in the 250cc class. He won a Southland Streetstocks' title last year.
Kagan finished third in both a Manfeild development class in March and in Southland Streetstocks last year.
"The Southland Motorcycle Club have been a big help to the boys," Grant Simons said.
- The Southland Times